- 14 updates
The six countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have announced they will close their embassies in Syria in protest at the ongoing violence. Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait will all withdraw their diplomats, according to GCC head Abdullatif al-Zayani.
Zayani said he opposed the Syrian Government "massacring its people, choosing the military option and rejecting all initiatives aimed at finding a solution to the crisis." He urged the international community to "act urgently and decisively to stop the killings and massacres in Syria".
Syria have given a positive response to UN Arab envoy Kofi Annan's proposals, a Foreign Ministry spokesman has told Reuters.
The government have announced extra aid for victims of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's crackdown on pro-democracy campaigners.
Italy are recalling staff from their embassy in Damascus, Syria, and suspending all diplomatic activity there, according to Reuters.
UN Arab envoy KofI Annan said he has received a response from President Bashar al-Assad on Syria proposals but questions remain, according to Reuters.
Annan also said he was seeking answers from Syria but time is of the essence and "this crisis cannot be allowed to drag on."
Russia's Deputy Defence Minister has said that Russia will continue selling arms to Syria despite the crackdown on civilians, according to The Independent. Anatoly Antonov said:
He also admitted that Russia has military instructors on the ground in Syria training the Syrian army. "It's part of our contractual obligations," he said. "When we supply weapons, we have to provide training."
A grim catalogue of torture has emerged from former detainees describing their treatment in Syria's detention centres since the predominantly peaceful protests against President Bashar al-Assad’s government began in March 2011.
Amnesty International's report reveals that all the various security forces are routinely torturing and ill-treating detainees held in the context of the protests and unrest, using methods of cruelty mostly used for decades.
The torture carried out appears to be part of a widespread and systematic attack against the civilian population as part of Syrian government policy to crush dissent.